THE WANDSWORTH VOICE

At our major launch earlier this year, we said that we were committed to ‘let the people speak’.  Indeed that is our credo.

Well, it would appear that both our dear Borough of Wandsworth and their chums at TfL are following our approach and are now letting us all put forward our views in relation to their proposed re-configuation of their globally infamous ‘One Way System’.

Pleasant young chaps from TfL armed with a few diagrams, artist’s impressions and a general sense of optimism braved the pre-Christmas shopping hordes last Saturday (15 November) in The Arndale Centre (sorry – Southside! We may suppose that it gets it new name from being …. ‘south of the Wandsworth One Way System).

Siting their pitch among the mobile phone unblockers, eye-brow weavers and smokeless cigarette hawkers they were clearly ready for all-comers.

But it would appear that their ‘charm offensive’ (surely an oxymoron) was not greeted with total joy and ecstasy ….

These intrepid ‘men of the road’ were more than a little surprised at quite a few things:

– the degree of scepticism, nay cynicism, that they encountered …. ‘Your minds are already made up’. ‘The decisions have been taken’. ‘This is a sham’.

– the level of knowledge, relating to current traffic volumes and pollution levels

– the sense that the scheme was for the sole benefit of newcomers (especially in the new Ram Quarter) and not the long-term residents

– the willingness, verging on the triumphant, to point out fundamental errors and omissions

– the collective mirth at their incorrectly captioned artists’ impressions

Anyway – they’ll be back in The Arndale (sorry – Southside) tomorrow (19 November) and it will be interesting to see whether they’ll have changed their pitch at all.

Let us hope that their proposed plans to unblock our traffic congestion and pollution will be as good as their neighbours’ ability to unblock our mobile phones.

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE

Formula E – Grand Prix – Battersea P

Last week there was a public meeting led by Wandsworth Borough people and the organiser of the global Formula E car races.

All was charm, light and joy.  Much reference to ‘minimal disruption’, ‘Park only shut for 4 days’, ‘lots of opportunity for further consultation’.  So no sense of a fait accompli.  

That is until you look at the Formula E site – which makes no suggestion whatsoever that the event may not actually take place in our dear Battersea Park.  Its date is clearly shown as being confirmed.

So …. what next …. how about taking a look at this ITV4 site – and its TV ad for its Formula E coverage?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjrXoFAMQ5U

Just look at the size, scale and format of the protective barriers – these are significant constructions – and their placement and subsequent removal would appear to this untrained eye to be a substantial operation.

Which inevitably will have a negative impact on the flora, the fauna and the folk, old and young, who enjoy the charming open space that is our Park.

There is nothing against the Park hosting events – indeed it has a proud tradition of so doing – but surely this motor race might be said to be ‘the right thing in the wrong place’.

THE WANDSWORTH VOICE

First post from my new iPhone …. Many more to come as we bring wit, wisdom, warmth and watchfulness to Wandsworth.

It’s not a bad place to live in – but it would be even better if we residents and voters were permitted to have a proper say in both what’s happening and what might be happening around us and to us.